Up until 1982, 90 Hunter Street was the Newcastle Police Station. It is now a museum where the doors of the prison cells remain open. Kinky curators are kept at bay.
A rare example of an 8x5 ft (2.3x1.26m) cell introduced by Governor Gipps. Although planned for widespread use by Colonial Architect A. Dawson in 1859, this type of cell was rejected due to its cramped size. A very rare example of a padded cell generally used to house insane and uncontrollable inmates is shown. Such is the penal system over time. Further privatisation of prisons is the latest move.
Artists have a romantic history of poverty and the lock-up, in conjuntion with the University of Newcastle and the Hunter Institute of TAFE, support an artist in residence program. The initative invites artists to stay at the lock-up and create work that is shared with our community... exhibited or performed in the lock-up (more accomodation is found upstairs) with installations and performances throughout the cells, exercise yard and gallery.
90 Hunter Street, Newcastle is the work of three of the State's important early architects.
To the Gods of the Underworld. For Gaius Gentius Valens, A sailor of the Praetorian fleet.....He lived 4o years of which he served (in the navy) for 19 years....
From Misenum (main Roman naval centre) on the Bay of Naples, around 100AD. (Nicholson Museum)